“Being a Christian isn’t for sissies. It takes a real man to live for God – a lot more man than to live for the devil, you know?” – Johnny Cash
From seeker churches and wishy-washy, vague “half messages” to showing “tolerance” to sins in the guise of “love” and slowly integrating worldly philosophies, Biblical Christianity is under the threat of the plague of lukewarmness.
Let’s admit it: all the riches and conveniences of modern life have spoiled us. We want the good life. And contemporary culture has fed us a fattening diet of serving ourselves. It all appeals to our lust for living and a complacency towards seeking out hard, abrasive truth, suggesting that we never go against the grain.
It’s not just an outward idolization of objects. We frequently point our idolatry finger back right upon us. We crave attention and approval and notoriety from others. We are scared silly of anything that threatens those external eyeballs from gazing upon us with adoring admiration. We want easy, cozy, comfortable, and non-confrontational. We don’t want to lose friends, family members, prestige, approval, status, and a plethora of things that we don’t feel that we can live without.
That’s not how we’re supposed to live as followers of Jesus. That’s what we’re called by Him to do. In fact, He predicted that we will lose family members because of our devotion to Him in Matthew 10:34-36, ultimately leading up to the statement, “a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36). Ouch. That’s tough. And if our own parents and siblings and children feel that way about, just imagine what our friends and colleagues and others with which we interact are going to think!
As Christians, we’re going to have to ruffle a lot of feathers. We’re going to tick many people off. We can’t integrate other religions and philosophies into our beliefs. We can’t still live like the world just to impress non-believers. We can’t soften or water down our message or our lifestyle in hopes that non-believers will take a liking to us. Sorry, but to follow Jesus Christ, you can’t have this relaxed “kum bah yah” attitude. We’re going to have to die of ourselves and live in Christ (Philippians 1:21). Every. Single. Day. And what if friends and loved ones and colleagues don’t like it? That is something we have to be comfortable accepting.
Once we do that, we’ll see a fundamental change in ourselves. “Tolerance” and “acceptance” will turn into a hatred of sin but we will gain a real, true love of people. Pride in ourselves and arrogance will turn into compassion for others. Anger and longing for revenge and hoping for “karma” to get back at people will turn into inimitable peace and instant forgiveness of others. Any broken marriages and damaged relationships we may have will start to mend and flourish.
It’s time we get back to our First Love of Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:4). It’s time we stop worrying about what the world might think of us. God’s given us a blueprint right in His Word on how to do things. That includes surrendering our all to Him with all things. We will never experience a real move of God until we do.
So take that leap. Go all-in. Don’t be a sissy (as described by the late musician Johnny Cash) and be a real man (or woman) of God and live for Him first!